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Hey Stelz…

I agree with everything you have said. Your comments, frustrations and bullish*t detector are spot on - I can relate to, and appreciate, all those things you've mentioned and experienced…

Having said that, I am not a painter (way too hard of work for me)…nor am I a paint rep - but fair is fair, and if these things need to be said to paint reps in the field, I think it's only fair that (some) painters need to hear what frustrates paint reps…

Many paint reps in the field are very experienced and knowledgeable about product & application - many (certainly not all) have as much experience in the industry as the painter has…Having application experience does not necessarily outweigh the in-depth knowledge of a product's performance characteristics and limitations, especially when product has been applied in a manner inconsistent with product directions…

Paint technologies are changing everyday - credit must be given to those who study and understand this stuff. Changing technologies often times require changing application techniques - how a painter has done things for the last 30 years, is pretty much irrelevant to many of the new technologies - yet this is often the argument when a rep is called to resolve a complaint. It tends to be a bit counter-productive.

Believe it or not, threats, and bullying, are common when reps attempt to resolve a problem. Threats of taking your business elsewhere….Idle threats of lawsuits…threats of going over a reps head to get satisfaction…unreasonable demands for labor restitution when, at the very least, the painter shares the responsibility of a problem or failure…and, yes - even physical threats (usually made out of frustration but knowing that a salaried rep cannot respond). A couple years ago, a painter threatened to throw me from the peeling roof of a barn he had painted because I would not defend his application as proper - he felt he was entitled to several thousand dollars compensation for a hack job most painters would've been embarrassed to say they had done. This particular complaint was "amicably" settled in court with him having to strip, re-prime and re-paint a 5000 square foot roof at his own expense…I say "amicably" because he threatened to kill me, in graphic detail, outside of the courtroom - and in front of a sherrif's deputy, who whisked him off into what had to be a really fun police car ride. I actually get a lot of threats (sigh)…

I know there are frustrating company reps out there - I've seen 'em in action… I also know there are painters out there that I've often wondered who helps them tie their shoes in the mornings. The truth is, there are many good painters out there too - craftsmen in their field - that even I have consulted in times of complex and baffling issues. But there are also good reps out there too that can make a painters professional life so much easier if they'd just listen, and respect that what a rep does is equally important to a successful paint job as the application.

I'm sorry for the rant - and I don't mean to piss anybody off, but frustrations, like respect and communication, goes both ways.
Thank you Rick! Much respect and well said.
you articulated the ignorance of many painters.
I know because i am a painter.
Funny how ive seen reps get blamed for alot.of stuff.
The same painter that says its the rep fault doesnt even dial the pump to the right psi on product labels.
;)

Sent from my SM-G900P using PaintTalk.com mobile app
 

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Hey Stelz…

I agree with everything you have said. Your comments, frustrations and bullish*t detector are spot on - I can relate to, and appreciate, all those things you've mentioned and experienced…

Having said that, I am not a painter (way too hard of work for me)…nor am I a paint rep - but fair is fair, and if these things need to be said to paint reps in the field, I think it's only fair that (some) painters need to hear what frustrates paint reps…

Many paint reps in the field are very experienced and knowledgeable about product & application - many (certainly not all) have as much experience in the industry as the painter has…Having application experience does not necessarily outweigh the in-depth knowledge of a product's performance characteristics and limitations, especially when product has been applied in a manner inconsistent with product directions…

Paint technologies are changing everyday - credit must be given to those who study and understand this stuff. Changing technologies often times require changing application techniques - how a painter has done things for the last 30 years, is pretty much irrelevant to many of the new technologies - yet this is often the argument when a rep is called to resolve a complaint. It tends to be a bit counter-productive.

Believe it or not, threats, and bullying, are common when reps attempt to resolve a problem. Threats of taking your business elsewhere….Idle threats of lawsuits…threats of going over a reps head to get satisfaction…unreasonable demands for labor restitution when, at the very least, the painter shares the responsibility of a problem or failure…and, yes - even physical threats (usually made out of frustration but knowing that a salaried rep cannot respond). A couple years ago, a painter threatened to throw me from the peeling roof of a barn he had painted because I would not defend his application as proper - he felt he was entitled to several thousand dollars compensation for a hack job most painters would've been embarrassed to say they had done. This particular complaint was "amicably" settled in court with him having to strip, re-prime and re-paint a 5000 square foot roof at his own expense…I say "amicably" because he threatened to kill me, in graphic detail, outside of the courtroom - and in front of a sherrif's deputy, who whisked him off into what had to be a really fun police car ride. I actually get a lot of threats (sigh)…

I know there are frustrating company reps out there - I've seen 'em in action… I also know there are painters out there that I've often wondered who helps them tie their shoes in the mornings. The truth is, there are many good painters out there too - craftsmen in their field - that even I have consulted in times of complex and baffling issues. But there are also good reps out there too that can make a painters professional life so much easier if they'd just listen, and respect that what a rep does is equally important to a successful paint job as the application.

I'm sorry for the rant - and I don't mean to piss anybody off, but frustrations, like respect and communication, goes both ways.
Having been a rep for BM and currently for a major Lumber Company as well as a NACE Inspector, the stories I have of GC's Painters, Architects, Designers, Engineers, DOT, and homeowners other reps and estimators doing all the things you describe and more, including going after my kids and coming to my house drunk at 3 am with a loaded gun, I chalk it up to a learning experience and solidifying my honesty and integrity to insure the best possible timely response and advice.

I ask that painters not get me to do all the takeoffs, specs, inspections, submittals, draw downs and correspondence with architects, GC's, Designers, etc, then give the job and business to another company because they were $.20 less per gallon plus a free spray rig. Or blame me when you put the wrong color on the surface. Or your job fails because you failed to follow my prep standard or data sheet info. Or take me to a hostile homeowner who is yelling and screaming and asking "where is your checkbook" because you already told them it's the paints fault and they will pay for it. Or using my inspection tools and not returning them or losing them, and then give the job to someone else because they didn't have the tools or know anything about floors. My $7,500 less then one year old floor grinder is in the shop getting repaired because I loaned it out and it was returned broken and without the $80 electric cord. Likely a $800 repair. We are all in this together and feeding our families. Treat the reps with respect and professional courtesy and call out the bad ones and teach them what your needs are. The job weeds out the bad ones. Even though I know 90% of the competitive reps in my market I always try to mentor and teach the ones that really care and have learned a lot and made great friends with several of the rookies and veterans. We are all just trying to feed our families. In my case put three daughters through College.
 

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Having been a rep for BM and currently for a major Lumber Company as well as a NACE Inspector, the stories I have of GC's Painters, Architects, Designers, Engineers, DOT, and homeowners other reps and estimators doing all the things you describe and more, including going after my kids and coming to my house drunk at 3 am with a loaded gun, I chalk it up to a learning experience and solidifying my honesty and integrity to insure the best possible timely response and advice.

I ask that painters not get me to do all the takeoffs, specs, inspections, submittals, draw downs and correspondence with architects, GC's, Designers, etc, then give the job and business to another company because they were $.20 less per gallon plus a free spray rig. Or blame me when you put the wrong color on the surface. Or your job fails because you failed to follow my prep standard or data sheet info. Or take me to a hostile homeowner who is yelling and screaming and asking "where is your checkbook" because you already told them it's the paints fault and they will pay for it. Or using my inspection tools and not returning them or losing them, and then give the job to someone else because they didn't have the tools or know anything about floors. My $7,500 less then one year old floor grinder is in the shop getting repaired because I loaned it out and it was returned broken and without the $80 electric cord. Likely a $800 repair. We are all in this together and feeding our families. Treat the reps with respect and professional courtesy and call out the bad ones and teach them what your needs are. The job weeds out the bad ones. Even though I know 90% of the competitive reps in my market I always try to mentor and teach the ones that really care and have learned a lot and made great friends with several of the rookies and veterans. We are all just trying to feed our families. In my case put three daughters through College.
To the painters, please remember that when you ask a sales rep to help you solve a problem, there are a lot of questions they have to ask that may sound like they are accusing you of doing something wrong. They are in a way doing an investigation of the problem, and some of the questions are pretty direct. They are in no way trying to tell you that you don't know what you are doing, but just trying to piece together what happened to cause the failure. From my experience, failures are rarely caused by the paint itself, but some other condition that was overlooked or unknown when the paint was applied. They are trying to find out what it was, and find a remedy so it doesn't happen again.

Also from my experience, 90% of the paint failures come from the 10% of the painters that only buy the cheapest paint they can buy. They are the ones who will buy paint down the street to save $1.00 a gallon. They are also the ones who tend to take it personally when you try to resolve their problem, or think you are just trying to make more profit when you tell them they need a better paint to resolve their issue.
 

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PinheadsUnite
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This thread is great as it illustrates the truth about all professions and people. There are a hacks, liars, and cheats that spoil the reputation of the greater number of honorable and respectable people.

We all fight the same battle to minimize those who give us all black-eyes.
 

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It's funny how wide a spectrum of people you'll see. You can tell the reps who have graced us with their presence in this thread are the good ones- if they didn't care, they wouldn't be here. As I've mentioned in another thread, I think my Ben Moore rep is a really smart, honest guy and he's got 30+ years of experience (although I did just send him a ranty letter moments ago about our shipping being late for the second time in a row, losing me tons of jobs. Not his fault, but still need him to pass it on).

On the other side of the coin, I had a Rustoleum rep early on in my painting career who couldn't tell me if any of their paints was VOC free or what the VOC contents were in them, and made no effort to get me any answer, either.
 

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I would hope they stay around long enough that I can build a business relationship with them. In stead of having a new one as fast as I hopefully change my underwear.
David
That's what SW is like around here.

We had the same PPG rep for many, many years, but he hung me out to dry on a big stain job.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Having been a rep for BM and currently for a major Lumber Company as well as a NACE Inspector, the stories I have of GC's Painters, Architects, Designers, Engineers, DOT, and homeowners other reps and estimators doing all the things you describe and more, including going after my kids and coming to my house drunk at 3 am with a loaded gun, I chalk it up to a learning experience and solidifying my honesty and integrity to insure the best possible timely response and advice.

I ask that painters not get me to do all the takeoffs, specs, inspections, submittals, draw downs and correspondence with architects, GC's, Designers, etc, then give the job and business to another company because they were $.20 less per gallon plus a free spray rig. Or blame me when you put the wrong color on the surface. Or your job fails because you failed to follow my prep standard or data sheet info. Or take me to a hostile homeowner who is yelling and screaming and asking "where is your checkbook" because you already told them it's the paints fault and they will pay for it. Or using my inspection tools and not returning them or losing them, and then give the job to someone else because they didn't have the tools or know anything about floors. My $7,500 less then one year old floor grinder is in the shop getting repaired because I loaned it out and it was returned broken and without the $80 electric cord. Likely a $800 repair. We are all in this together and feeding our families. Treat the reps with respect and professional courtesy and call out the bad ones and teach them what your needs are. The job weeds out the bad ones. Even though I know 90% of the competitive reps in my market I always try to mentor and teach the ones that really care and have learned a lot and made great friends with several of the rookies and veterans. We are all just trying to feed our families. In my case put three daughters through College.
I really even can't imagine having to deal with the threats, especially when it's threats which could involve my family. I don't believe in wasting a reps time to do menial tasks. I don't ask them to do anything for me unless I have a problem which I can't solve. Maybe once or twice a year will I contact them regarding a product issue. Other than that, I chalk it up to business expense.

I have some great reps that I can trust if/when the situation arises. I choose to, "not go to the well", too often, so that when I do have the rare circumstance which requires their assistance, they know it's likely to be valid, and to be taken seriously.
 

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A few things I say to new paint reps that I don't know:

-You don't need to ask me out to lunch or coffee, just reply promptly when I contact you regarding the occasional question/concern.

-Make sure the prices you quoted me are updated in every one of your stores.

-I don't expect you to know all the answers, so if you don't know, say so, and then try your hardest to find the answer ASAP.

-If I ask you your opinion as to the BEST product for my situation, I don't mean the best product your company offers, so if another manufacturer's product might be best, be honest, and I'll hold that honesty in high regard.

-On the rare occasion I call you out to my job-site regarding a problem with a product, I need insight, honesty, diligence and accountability. If the failure is due to one of your products, tell me, and we can both learn from it. But if you try to place the blame everywhere else EXCEPT for your product after I've exhausted all other possibilities, then you and I are gonna tangle.

-Try to stay up to date on all changes of products, discontinuing products, and new products, both from your store as well as other leading paints.

-Unfortunately, you'll only see me at my most frustrated, since I'll never bother you unless I have a problem, so I apologize in advance.


Am I missing some?
It's amazing how demanding you are. You act like you employee your SW sales rep. :blink:

I have been buying paint from SW since 1989 and have never had theses issues.
 

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Today I got to say a new one to my rep:

"When I order paint (and it's a week late), is there something we can do to make sure it's not paintsicles next time? Believe it or not, frozen paint doesn't sell or work very well!"

Okay, I said it a lot nicer than that, but still... that's been my day. A week late on the paint shipment and 95% of it is frozen. Contractors, DIY's, and myself are hung out to dry. Good thing I'm not trying to build a good reputation around here or anything :jester:
 

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Yeh, you're right. Why should he expect sales reps to be sales reps, have knowledge of product, and be courteous and timely. That's outrageous!
I never said that.

But to walk into a SW store and patronize a sales rep, by giving him a lecturing speech, is disrespectful.

How would you feel if your customer gave you a lecture prior to hiring you? Would you not consider that a red flag? I believe most painters would run from those types of clients. As Mr. Gough would say, "I would put them on my fecal roster"!
 

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It's amazing how demanding you are. You act like you employee your SW sales rep. :blink:

I have been buying paint from SW since 1989 and have never had theses issues.
Consider yourself quite lucky. I have been in the paint business in three states (California,Ohio,And Okla by god homa), and have found these complaints to be quite common. In the 9 years I worked for Pittsburgh paint in Columbus, the SW store down the street went through 7 store managers and 10 outside reps. ( I like to think I had something to do with that!)
 

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Today I got to say a new one to my rep:

"When I order paint (and it's a week late), is there something we can do to make sure it's not paintsicles next time? Believe it or not, frozen paint doesn't sell or work very well!"

Okay, I said it a lot nicer than that, but still... that's been my day. A week late on the paint shipment and 95% of it is frozen. Contractors, DIY's, and myself are hung out to dry. Good thing I'm not trying to build a good reputation around here or anything :jester:
Maybe you should switch to P&L. All my paint comes on a nice cozy heated trailer!
 
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